Saturday, June 6, 2009

65. St. John the Evangelist (Now the Parish of St. John the Evangelist-Our Lady of Peace Church)

NOTE: In 2015 Our Lady of Peace Church closed down and was merged into St. John the Evangelist as part of the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. Only St. John's will remain open for regular Masses and other events. This combined parish is called St. John the Evangelist-Our Lady of Peace Church.

(mass times & church info last updated 03/25/2016)
Address: 348 E. 55th St. (@ 1st Ave.)
Phone: 212.753.8418
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 5:30pm (English)
Sun: 7:30am, 9am, 10:30am, 12pm, 5:30pm (all English)
Weekday Mass Times: 
Mon-Fri: 7am, 8:15am, 12:10pm, 5:30pm (all English)
Sat: 8:15am, 12:10pm (both English)
Japanese Mass: 
2nd Saturdays: 1pm
Mon-Fri: 11:30am-12pm, 5pm-5:30pm
Sat: 11:30am-12pm, 4:30pm-5:25pm
Exposition: Fri: 8:45am-12pm, 12:45pm-5pm
Benediction: 5pm
Miraculous Medal Novena: Mondays following the 12:10 and 5:30pm Masses
Rosary: Mon, Wed: following the 5:30pm Mass
Official Website
About the Organ
About St. John the Evangelist
Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Episcopalian)

(June 30, 2009)Sorry, y'all.

I visited this church back in the early part of June and have found myself not only gloomy due to the previously scribed business, but devastatingly absorbed with work and side projects (probably a good thing, not giving me a whole lot of time to focus on the sad,) and I've just gotten back after two weeks of being on the road for work. This is basically a post meant to be written and posted a month ago...

I have to apologize for the recent whining and complaining. What am I doing? It's time I turn more to prayer and contemplation rather than wasting time and energy with my vocalizing my sorrows

I arrived at St. John the Evangelist optimistic for the weekend, thinking this would be my first of four new churches to visit this June (it turned out to be the only one,) having come to this neighborhood with plans to meet some friends to cross the Queensborough Bridge, and the weekend ahead of me to accomplish a great deal of tasks I'd set before myself. As soon as I entered the church I knew I liked it immediately. It was modern, but bright and yet intimate, with a great deal of space and natural light. Interesting art on the walls and sculpture scattered about. Instantly I liked being here and was glad to have come.

Later, I met my friends and we crossed the bridge and headed to Studio Square in Long Island City. This was a good time with good friends (something I needed for sure,) but I went ahead and enjoyed myself too much and then later, at the behest of another friend, drunkenly decided to join him at a crazy Superhero party in Williamsburg. I arrived home at five in the morning (miraculously safe!) and slept through most of my Sunday, heading to Mass late in the day at a church I realized only too late didn't offer services in the evening. The entire week after I played catch-up with my work, trying to make-up what I had failed to do the entire weekend. The following weekend was wrecked by a similar situation I got myself into Friday night, finding me working my ass off Saturday and Sunday just to get everything done before I headed out of town. It was a busy, reckless couple of weeks, caused all by myself, my poor choices, my unfocused quality.

Regardless of this, my experience at St. John the Evangelist was nice. It seemed to have a strong sense of community and was much smaller than other East Side churches. I was able to find peace and comfort here, though mistakenly I took none of this with me, merely cast it all aside as I walked back out the doors and towards treachery, nefariousness, disgrace and sin.

The other day, after a jam packed week of 9-5ing it at my job and coming home to work on a side project until I fell asleep, then waking up to do it all over again; followed by two weeks of 18-20 hour days working out of town, I finally looked up from it all and realized my relationship was over. It was all very stark. Forget my private (and public!) rantings and angst, never mind the shameless self-pity; pure and simple, it is grief, the suffering of a loss not only of some kind of present happiness but also a future I clearly saw myself in, and with the loss of the present, and the vanishing of that future, my way becomes murkier than before, clarity is gone.


  1. Well thank God you're alive!

    Good last photo, and it goes with the sentiment.

    Sorry about these troubles. Keep your chin up. We all need someone to tell us sometimes that we will find our way, and it will be correct, and yes, God has a plan for us all. I need to hear it all the time and still I shy away from absorbing the messages when good friends say it. Somehow, when you see someone else in need of hearing it, it makes sense and I know it's true.

  2. st john's is my parish. i was surprised no mention of the funky organ that is stacked high due to space restrictions. i enjoyed reading about your journey. i too have been trying to go to different churches (albeit on a smaller scale than yourself). good luck with things. life is short - be happy! and it sounds like you're a good person, don't be too hard on yourself.

  3. Ive been a parishioner since 1970 I was married at St Johns in 1974 and had my son baptized there. My wife Joan died of Burkitts lymphoma in 1993 and we had the funeral Mass there. I was working on Rudy Giuliani's campaign at that time and he was gracious enough to come to the mass alone.
    Oct 25,2010 Ive just returned from a pilgrimage to Medjugorje the site of daily messages from Our Lady to 6 visionaries since 1981. God Bless Us All, and pray , pray, pray.
    Peter Powell

  4. St. John the Evangelist is a wonderful Catholic parish in Manhattan. The weekend liturgies are both simple and elegant, and there are very few churches that have midday and evening confession availability every day except Sunday. The people are very warm and helpful. I have had a few health and personal issues over the years and the priests and parish deacon and many parishioners have been provided invaluable emotional support that has gotten me through all the struggles. As a bonus the parish also serves as a chapel for the chancery offices located in another part of the building, meaning there often are Masses celebrated by bishops and archbishops. Some people affectionately refer to it as "Headquarters." Definitely worth a weekend visit or if you are in the area for the weekday Masses. You will come back whenever you can!

  5. I went to school there back in the 50's and sixties. I was an alter boy there and served my first mass on Oct. 28th, 1963 at the 8 am mass. I was born on 55th street. I remember the old St. John's Church well and have never seen the new one. I understand the school is gone though. St. John's is forever in my heart and may God bless you all.

  6. My mother went to school at St. John's through 8th grade. So did her older brother. They were part of the old church. She cried when they tore it down as she always said it was more beautiful than Cathedral. If anyone has old pictures of the church or went to school there in the 50's, please email me. I'm sure she'd love to hear from yous.

  7. Iwas a parishioner when the old church building existed, baptized, first communion, confirmation - all of it. The old building was gorgeous, have many friends who were married there, and friends who attended the school during that time when the area was still a "real neighborhood", and all the parents watched out for all the children. I also cried when they tore the church down and replaced it with something that feels like it has no heart. Is Msgr. Ford still living?

  8. This church was founded on the site of the current St. Patrick's Cathedral and moved to 1st Avenue. My great grandfather and great grandmother were married in this church (circa 1890), I would love to see pictures of the old church.

    My father had an apartment on 53rd. My great aunt when she found out he had moved there told him that was the block she and his father grew up on. She recalled playing on the rocks at the foot of 53rd St. at low tide. They can still be seen from the park above the FDR Drive.

    I can only surmise that this was an Irish neighborhood at the turn of the century.

  9. My mom and her two sisters, the Holahans, went to that church and school in the 1930s. It was an Irish area at the time. They all lived in a brownstone on 55th between First and Second.

  10. Hi,

    I just found this blog and loved it. I go to Mass sometimes during the week at St. John's and find it a very comforting place to be in with it's openess and soaring ceilings. It's a great place to pray and nurture my relationship with Jesus. The great thing about our relationship with God is that it never ends. We take one step to him and he takes 10 toward us. (think about the prodical Son.) Your blog helped me alot as I'm stuggling to keep up with my daily Mass attendence which keeps me grounded. I would recommend really trying to get to Mass on Sunday (or Saturday)every week. It will help alot! Fr. Joseph is a great priest to talk with if you want some one to talk with. God speed and I'll pray for you!

  11. I lived in Queens NY and remember coming over the 59th St Bridge, to Manhattan with my mom to go shopping. I always looked for the spire of this beautiful church on my left. When I was older, I visited this magnificent church in the 60's. How sad that it is gone, along with the school and convent...and the good sisters. What happended to the Church of my boyhood?

  12. Until recently I attended 7AM Mass every weekday morning. It is a beautiful, wonderful Parish, with much love and caring. Msgr Mathers is the Pastor and he is a very good person and excellent Homolist. Margo keeps everything in top shape. Perfect way to start your day.

  13. I plan to visit St. John's next time I'm in NYC. I live in Delaware. My father grew up in the neighborhood and was baptized in St. John's in 1909. Back then, the church and adjoining school were neighborhood landmarks.

  14. we lived on 56th between 2nd.& 3rd. went to st johns in the 50's, & 60 's. love it. beautiful stations of the cross , alters.stained glass windows , statues, everything soo grand. what became of it all ?. real shame that it was torn down.